Journalism entrepreneurship

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A talk to journalism and media communications students at Taylor's College on freelancing and being your own boss in the media business today. Aug 11, 2010.

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  • The idea became more modest of just travelling around Peninsular Malaysia
  • From seven people to three people and the mode of transport become increasingly modest.
  • Was interviewed by New Straits Times for the six weeks trip which eventually led me being hired to be a stringer.
  • First published work involved interviewing my friends for NST-Times Two, Times of Your Life section.
  • First fulltime job at the Star as a cadet journalist. First story assignment was Lim Kit Siang on Bukit China protest. Went with senior journalist. Only thing I remembered was the blisters on his feet after the long protest march.
  • Senior journalist banged the story out in less than half an hour. He then turned to me and asked whether I had anything to add, to which I replied : “What about the blisters on his feet?”
  • Some news stories I broke as a junior reporter for the Star.
  • Received Best Travel Writer 1989 award from Tourist Development Corporation (now Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board) barely a year into being a travel writer.
  • Freelancing for a variety of magazines.
  • Feature story in a magazine. Was freelancing using a pseudonym in case my boss found out.
  • Nikkei Business Publications was the biggest trade magazine publisher in Japan.
  • "Eighty percent of success is showing up." --   Woody Allen
  • Journalism entrepreneurship

    1. 1. By Julian Matthews, Trinetizen Media www.trinetizen.com Aug 11, 2010 Journalism Entrepreneurship
    2. 2. Who am I? Media trainer Stringer Cadet journalist Fulltime journalist Undergraduate Drop out Journalist Travel writer Photographer Senior features writer Freelance travel writer Copywriter Speech writer Children’s story writer Web designer Wedding photographer Corporate brochure writer Table-top book editor Technology Journalist Director Husband Father of two children Chauffeur Office boy Take out the garbage Editor
    3. 4. Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYecfV3ubP8
    4. 5. In 1984, a young, ambitious, nerd wanted to change the world
    5. 6. He had some competition… “ Which would you do?”
    6. 7. “ Which would you do?”
    7. 8. They did change the world Which would you do? Which would you do ~ now?
    8. 9. In 1984, another young, ambitious, nerd joined the workforce
    9. 10. He, too, wanted to change the world
    10. 11. But all he changed was …. … himself
    11. 12. Questions that may (or may not) be answered today <ul><li>What is a journalism entrepreneur? </li></ul><ul><li>What skills & experience do I need to start and run my own media business? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the challenges and opportunities of being my own boss? </li></ul>
    12. 13. The story of how a bicycle led me to becoming a journalist
    13. 14. Seven 19-yr-olds decide to travel
    14. 15. Seven 19-yr-olds decide to travel
    15. 16. Seven 19-yr-olds decide to travel
    16. 17. What shall we travel in?
    17. 18. Three in NST
    18. 19. Life of a stringer
    19. 20. The life series
    20. 21. 1st assignment: The Star
    21. 22. 1 st lesson in journalism What about the blisters on Kit Siang’s feet? Who the f*** cares about the blisters on Kit Siang’s feet !?!
    22. 32. Becoming a travel magazine writer <ul><li>Cultural immersion </li></ul><ul><li>Learnt photography, shooting slides </li></ul><ul><li>Being independent and minding budgets </li></ul><ul><li>Compiling for Visit Malaysia Year book </li></ul><ul><li>Writing for advertising mag, lifestyle stories </li></ul>
    23. 34. Best travel writer?
    24. 37. First big break <ul><li>Malaysian correspondent to 1 st English trade magazine of Nikkei Business Publication </li></ul><ul><li>US$0.25/word X 1000 words News story </li></ul><ul><li>Later: Pay hike to US$0.40/word </li></ul><ul><li>Would get US$0.20/word if story made it in Japanese edition of NEA </li></ul><ul><li>2000-word Feature/year </li></ul><ul><li>1000-word Profile/year </li></ul><ul><li>AsiaBizTech.com </li></ul><ul><li>500-words/week </li></ul>
    25. 38. Then came the Internet…. US Robotics Sportster 14.4Kbps Fax/Modem Dial-up sound: http://www.freesound.org/samplesViewSingle.php?id=16475
    26. 39. Opened my world to global stories More examples: http://www.trinetizen.com/archive/
    27. 40. Freelance Inc. <ul><li>Biggest Japanese trade magazine publisher </li></ul><ul><li>Newsbytes: Owned by Washington Post-Newsweek Interactive </li></ul><ul><li>Leading online tech publisher </li></ul>
    28. 41. Things you may need to make it <ul><li>Experience: Minimum 18 months – 3 years in a media organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Skills: Writing, editing, photography, digital media production, video, web design </li></ul><ul><li>Published work online – your own website or use Blogger or Wordpress or LinkedIn </li></ul><ul><li>Contacts: Meet editors, reporters, other freelancers f2f on a regular basis </li></ul><ul><li>Self-discipline </li></ul>
    29. 42. Never do only one thing <ul><li>Freelance feature writing </li></ul><ul><li>Photographer </li></ul><ul><li>Wrote press releases </li></ul><ul><li>Wrote advertorials </li></ul><ul><li>Designed and wrote corporate brochures </li></ul><ul><li>Wrote annual reports </li></ul><ul><li>Advertising copy </li></ul><ul><li>Wrote a children’s story for booklet series </li></ul><ul><li>Edited table-top book </li></ul><ul><li>UNTIL YOU FIND YOUR NICHE </li></ul>
    30. 43. Don’t limit yourself <ul><li>“I only write feature stories for lifestyle magazines” </li></ul><ul><li>Try other forms of writing: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business and technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sports </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reviews: Books, movies, fashion, products </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scripts for radio, plays or documentaries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Short fiction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Children stories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Corporate writing: advertorials, case studies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>UNTIL YOU FIND YOUR NICHE! </li></ul>
    31. 44. Create an online portfolio <ul><li>Blog or dotcom: </li></ul><ul><li>Bio/Resume </li></ul><ul><li>Published work </li></ul><ul><li>Contact </li></ul>YouTube RSS Twitter Facebook MySpace AudioBoo Flickr LinkedIn
    32. 45. Tripod: Used free space
    33. 47. http://departuremaxim.blogspot.com Example of Taylor’s Graduate updating his portfolio online
    34. 48. http://imaginarylands.wordpress.com Example of a journalist updating her portfolio online
    35. 49. Build the online portfolio today! <ul><li>Use Blogger or Wordpress or Linked In or your own domain - separate portfolio on your writing, photography, videos. </li></ul><ul><li>Clickable, printable, PDF resume </li></ul><ul><li>Take a professional photograph of yourself, please. No abstract pics or LOLcatz as your thumbnail. </li></ul><ul><li>Everything you say on your blog, Facebook, Twitter can and will be used against you. </li></ul>
    36. 50. Improve your software skills <ul><li>Photo editing </li></ul><ul><li>Audio editing </li></ul><ul><li>Video editing </li></ul><ul><li>Web design </li></ul><ul><li>Blogging </li></ul><ul><li>Online forums, community management </li></ul><ul><li>Database programming </li></ul><ul><li>Multimedia production </li></ul>
    37. 51. Do the paperwork <ul><li>Sole proprietor or Sdn Bhd: Set up a company at R.O.C </li></ul><ul><li>Always bill clients promptly: Find sample invoices online </li></ul><ul><li>Contract: Writing contract </li></ul><ul><li>Legal: If you use copyrighted material obtain permission. If you use another freelancer, prepare a contract </li></ul><ul><li>EPF & Insurance: Cover yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Taxes: Get an accountant cum corp secretary cum tax consultant </li></ul>
    38. 52. Self-discipline: Office vs home Your desk Boss’ desk Distance to boss’ desk Productivity
    39. 53. Discipline: Home office Your desk Your bed Productivity Distance to bed
    40. 54. Monthly salary of journalist position advertised in Jobstreet RM2225 RM1800 RM1500 Fresh / Entry Level RM2760 RM2300 RM1800 Junior Executive RM3700 RM3250 RM2500 Senior Executive Maximum Average Minimum Position Level
    41. 55. Case study: Aela Callan
    42. 56. Last words: Show up
    43. 57. Follow up
    44. 58. If you screw up (and you will screw up) say sorry, take your lumps and grow up already!
    45. 59. Julian Matthews e: julian@trinetizen.com w: trinetizen.com f: facebook.com/trinetizen b: blog.trinetizen.com t: twitter.com/trinetizen m: +60-12-915-9528

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